Future of Humanity Institute researcher Anders Sandberg on Moral Enhancement. See blog post here, and video here. Humans have an evolved capacity to learn moral systems – we became more adept at learning moral systems that aided our survival in the ancestral environment – but are our moral instincts fit for the future?
Let’s build some context.
For millennia humans have lived in complex social structures constraining and encouraging certain types of behaviour. More recently for similar reasons people go through years of education at the end of which (for the most part) are more able to morally function in the modern world – though this world is very different from that of our ancestors, and when considering the possibilities for vastly radical change at breakneck speed in the future, it’s hard to know how humans will keep up both intellectually and ethically. This is important to consider as the degree to which we shape the future for the good depends both on how well and how ethically we solve the problems needed to achieve change that on balance (all things equal) benefits humanity (and arguably all morally relevant life-forms).
Can we engineer ourselves to be more ethically fit for the future?